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Capron Manufacturing Company

Comprehensive Compressed Air Study
Project Photo
PROJECT SNAPSHOT: Capron Manufacturing Company
Cost funded by the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program $16,000
Implementation cost paid by customers $197,002
Estimated annual energy savings 643,037 kWh
Estimated annual cost savings $48,228*
Incentive received $41,548
Estimated payback period without incentive 4.1 years
Estimated payback period with incentive 3.2 years

*Estimated annual cost savings are based on an electricity rate of 7.5 cents per kWh.

Project Summary

Located in north central Illinois, Capron Manufacturing is an established metal finishing facility. Its 200,000 square foot facility houses plating, powder coat, porcelain enamel, electropolish and vinyl coating systems. Patrick Stanley understood that because business is so energy intensive, improving operational efficiency would have a significant impact on the bottom line. That's why he was immediately interested in the Comprehensive Compressed Air Study offered by the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program.

The Solution

The study provided a detailed analysis of Capron Manufacturing’s existing compressed air system, with the goal of optimizing equipment operation and compressed air end use, without adversely affecting system operations. Opportunities for capital upgrades also were identified in a written report, with estimated energy savings, project costs and incentives calculated for each recommendation.

Capron Manufacturing went on to implement the following:

  • Replaced two inefficient compressors with a variable-speed air compressor and central controller
  • Replaced a non-cycling compressed air dryer with a cycling dryer
  • Repaired air leaks
  • Reduced air system pressure to functional levels

Project Benefits

Capron Manufacturing received incentives totaling $41,548 from the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program after implementing the Comprehensive Compressed Air Study recommendations. The business now uses less air and benefits from an estimated $48,228 in annual energy cost savings, without adversely impacting the performance of its operations.

Stanley found that the report produced at the end of the study made it easy to understand the facility’s energy usage. “The project was an eye-opening experience,” he said. “The measurable aspects (demand, consumption, base-line energy consumption) were reduced by 50 percent making the savings even greater than we anticipated. This has been a very positive experience.”

As a result of further insights gained through the study, Capron Manufacturing has implemented a regular air leak detection program and is actively pursuing other energy efficiency projects.

The project was an eye-opening experience—the measurable aspects (demand, consumption, base-line energy consumption) were reduced by 50 percent making the savings even greater than we anticipated. This has been a very positive experience.
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